In the small group Bible study Freedom from Performing, author Becky Harling gently confronts the ideas that Christians must earn the approval of others, work for praise, seek to impress, earn the approval of God, or prove to the world through their actions that they are indeed saved. To do this, throughout the book, she emphasizes different aspects of God’s amazing grace. In fact, each chapter has a one sentence Grace Glimpse to highlight the chapter’s point. We rest in God’s grace, and once we’re secure in that, we serve out of gratitude and love as the Holy Spirit leads.
Within each chapter, Harling highlights Bible stories that show God’s grace in action among His people. Her explanations of the cultural concepts behind many of the stories especially appealed to me. She also references many pertinent Bible verses for the reader to look up on her own. Harling also shares parts of her testimony and the testimonies of other women in each chapter in order to show how points apply. As we understand the experiences of others, we can better understand how the message can work in our personal lives. Each chapter ends with a Message from the Grace Giver—a letter written as if from God to the reader, a scripture prayer to help the reader internalize grace, and a daily Bible study for the reader to work through on her own to later discuss with her small group.
If you are looking for a great small group Bible study for women, I highly recommend Freedom from Performing by Becky Harling. I read it alone and found it so encouraging even that way, but I think the blessings would have been exponential in a group setting. I look forward to reading it again that way someday!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."